I haven't seen Mama since August so I am so ready to be flying to Chicago in just 17 days(!) for Nicole's wedding. In the meantime I have to finish two research papers, a 60-page thesis, a presentation, and a history exam on top of teaching at Colegio and private lessons and university classes. I know that I can get it done and I will put in the effort, so I feel like I should just get a free pass on this one. It's the thought that counts?
I worked on one of my papers this afternoon on women's education during Franco and yikes. For those of you who don't know Franco was dictator of Spain for about 45 years ending in the '70s. He wasn't so big on women. Or I guess education, really. Freedom, human rights, not his thing. Anyway during his dictatorship he created the Sección Femenina to spread his ideas regarding the proper Spanish woman, and when it came to education policy that meant single sex classroom and gender-based curriculums and obligatory subjects for girls including such things as Cooking and Domestic Economy and Labors. Someone's gotta carve that jamón. No Phy. Ed., either, because sustained attention isn't really a girl's strong suit and she might get hit in the head with a football - but that's okay, her housework will keep her in shape. Incidentally teachers also shouldn't assign homework to girls because it might interfere with their attention to household duties.
As the Sección Femenina puts it, girl's education "Must be what prepares them to be the real complement to men. We will never have them competing with men because they will never be their equals and would miss their elegance and grace, which they need for their competence." Ahem.
So, anyway, big news for the world this week, huh? Bin Laden's death is big-time exciting for my students, who seem to think I have a direct personal phone connection to Obama and know all the inside details about what happened - or didn't as they would conjecture. This happened also with Lady Gaga when I first started: "But Megan, tell us the truth, is Lady Gaga a man?"
I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to feel about this whole thing though. I haven't read any
U.S. newspapers about it so I don't know what coverage is like in the States, but this photo on the right came from a Madrid newspaper earlier this week and honestly I think this may be the first time I've really felt embarrassed of the U.S.A. It looks like a college football game and it makes me genuinely wonder what was going through these people's heads. Am I being unpatriotic? I don't get it, explain it to me.
Maybe I just don't see it as a joyous occasion because I think for the first time since I've been abroad I feel like my family and friends are not as safe for being where they are. I feel like our country is inviting really really scary things by not having gone through any kind of legal process with Bin Laden, and then by having a bunch of people go out in face paint and act like buffoons. People in this photo: you are buffoons. Go wash your faces.